As the somewhat embattled owner of a small business, Ovenu, who has provided a professional oven-valeting servicing to homes across the region for 18 months now, I feel compelled to put pen to paper.
Small businesses are the life blood of any town and if the Government really wants to help us and to boost the local economy, then it needs to find new ways to support us.
However, while Government has its failing (and the recent budget is a prime example, leaving us facing yet further rises in fuel costs), it is in my view the continuous onslaught of negativity that is putting the small business community most at risk.
We all know that the country, and the world at large, has its problems. From growing unemployment, to businesses going under, repossessions and shop units standing barren and empty, we can’t escape from it.
And against this constant drip-feed of crisis, disaster, and depression it is easy to see why people may become too scared to move, and why some purses are now shut tightly – even when they don’t need to be.
The good news is, that as someone who is working in the community dealing with clients from every walk of life on a daily basis, I can offer some reassurance to other small businesses that people ARE still spending, people ARE still ‘planning ahead’. And while you may have to work a little harder for your daily bread, if you are on top of your game and providing a quality service, then normality should be prevailing.
Some things may never be quite the same and a greater degree of caution and perhaps prudence may be the order of things for some time to come, but if talk could get back to a more ‘business as usual’ focus, then I think it will do most of us a lot more good.